The Almost and the Actual

In Genesis 22 God has recorded the account of how He severely tested Abraham’s faith. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but stopped him from doing so “in the nick of time” when He saw that Abraham was willing to do even that, if God required it. Abraham passed that test of faith with flying colors.

What might escape our attention is Isaac’s similar faith and obedience. Isaac was not a baby or a toddler at this time. He was a youth, able to ask intelligent questions of his father and able to carry a bundle of wood. Meanwhile, Abraham had been 99 years old at the time of Isaac’s miraculous conception.

Isaac could have easily overpowered his aged father and fled when he became aware of what was coming. Instead he proved willing to present his body a living sacrifice.

So Abraham was willing to give his son, and Isaac was willing even to die in obedience to his father.

A little over 2,000 years ago there was an even more miraculous conception. When He became a young man, the fruit of that blessed womb also carried some wood, the wood of a cruel instrument of execution. He also had questioned His Father on the way to a death He would not escape. He had asked, in Gethsemane, if it were possible that He not endure unimaginable pain and be sacrificed.

It was NOT possible – if sinners were to be forgiven. There would be no reprieve for this obedient Son. The loving Father went through with the sacrifice by which many would be saved. The Son loved His Father and He loved the ones He came to save, as an angel told Joseph, the carpenter who would serve as the blessed earthly dad of the Christ child:

“…Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (from Matthew 1)

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